In the past decade, Fred and Jacqui Lilly have lived in a half- dozen different houses, each one designed and built by Lilly -- that's what he does for a living. But after moving so often, the Lillys were ready to settle down into the house of their dreams -- a new Victorian. While Lilly was building his dream, however, he saw an old barn that intrigued him. And so he bought the barn with the idea of turning it into an informal home for his family.
Unfortunately, his family was not as warm to the idea. But Lilly went ahead with the project anyway, figuring that if they still didn't like it, he could always go back to the Victorian.
By the time the silo-like tower went up, the family began to reconsider their barn of a house -- a home built around their inf life style. Lilly has created a country kitchen out of the old tack room; an activity room or dining room out of the old first-floor garage, which once housed tractor and farm equipment; and a children's wing out of the old stables. Above the "stables" is a master bedroom suite (the new silo houses all the big bathrooms in the house); where the hayloft used to be is a huge, informal living room (69 by 34 feet). Lilly has equipped this room with lush creature comforts -- a bar with a convenience kitchen, a table for playing cards or eating, a big-screen television complete with a satellite hookup (the dish is hidden on the side of the house by the new three-car garage), a huge modular sofa and a work table and desk.
Says Lilly, "By now we've had just about every imaginable kind of house -- this place reflects a space that suits our life styles. We're kind of free spirits, and we like to have a lot of friends around and a lot of space for the kids."
Would he have changed anything if he had it to do over again? "I don't think so -- but then, we've had a lot of practice."